The news of Cody Rhodes and Brandi Rhodes leaving All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has left the wrestling world reeling with questions and suspicions. During its formative first two years, Cody was a mainstay on AEW television. He also held the title of EVP in the company with Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks. Even though they reportedly had creative control stripped from them recently, with Tony Khan in full control. Rumors have been circulating in regards to what Cody will do now, and why he left in the first place. Arguably, there are only really two destinations for him. He will either re-sign with AEW, which seems unlikely at this juncture, or he will sign with WWE. Cody Rhodes jumping to WWE would easily be the biggest thing to happen for the company creatively in a long time and could have effects that reach much farther. Let’s look at the consequences of Cody Rhodes in WWE should he go that route.
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) February 15, 2022
The Consequences of Cody Rhodes in WWE
It Only Takes One, For The Rest Will Follow
Since its foundation in 2019, there have been many jumps to AEW from WWE. Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and several others have made the jump for various reasons. Those reasons likely mostly they stem from creative and/or professional disagreements they had with the company. We have yet, however, to see a big jump in the other direction. If Cody were to go through with it, he would be the first big name to jump from AEW to WWE. The reasons surrounding Cody’s departure from AEW will be very telling in not just what to expect from his WWE run, but to gauge if others will follow suit.
Is it possible AEW was dysfunctional enough to drive Cody out of the company due to creative issues? It is very possible that there will be more in the next year who jump ship as well, eager to see if the grass is truly greener on the other side should that be the case.
Setting a Precedent, for Better or Worse
Whether they want to admit it or not, Cody Rhodes would be a massive coup for WWE. Especially in the midst of WrestleMania season, and especially when the roster is more shallow than it’s ever been. WWE has no star power outside of maybe 5 or 6 names. Cody Rhodes feels much more like a star than he did during his previous run with the company and certainly feels more like a star than anyone on the roster. The question isn’t what Cody can do for WWE, it’s what they can do for him. If they decide to bring him in the proper way, with a big Mania program off the bat and the star treatment. It could set an all too important precedent for future AEW-WWE jumps, especially ones who previously worked with the company. A precedent that if they make the jump, they will not be treated as outsiders.
If they decide to do what WWE is known for doing, however, and lure him in with a false bill of goods just commit character assassination on him, make him look weak, or even book him improperly, this will also set a precedent. One of malice, hostility, and pettiness. If WWE decides not to treat Cody like the special attraction he is, or ruin him with terrible booking, don’t expect too many more jumps to the company in the future whose names aren’t Chris Jericho.
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Change of Plans?
This close to WrestleMania, it would be incredibly foolish (though unsurprising) if WWE decided to save Cody for the RAW after Mania. With WrestleMania now a two-night event, the show is going to be in desperate need of big matches. There are several options for Mr. Rhodes should they so choose. Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, and Edge are all potential challengers for Cody at the show. Reigns and Lesnar may have a program at the moment, and as much as they’d hate to put it on the backburner again. Cody Rhodes against either one of those men at WrestleMania right now is a bigger deal than them facing each other. It’s entirely possible that if Cody joins WWE now, which is legal for him to do without a no-compete clause, we see WrestleMania plans, even major ones, shift around a lot.
The Consequences of Cody Rhodes in WWE: In Conclusion
There isn’t really a bad option for Cody Rhodes. If past interviews are any indicator, he’ll most likely be retiring from full-time activity within the next decade. So it’s really up to what he wants out of his last run. If he wants more creativity over what he does, AEW is the best choice. WWE on the other hand offers significantly more money, especially considering how desperate they are for stars.
In an interview, Cody Rhodes once said; “Some guys just like to get paid. (And that’s great) And some guys are looking more for the creative fix.” At the age of 36, after several years in the business, he now must ask himself which one he is.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.